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Powers in the First Episode

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Unusual capabilities manifest in the pilot episode. This lets the audience know right away that the series is about unusually enabled characters. It is very hard to pull off the introduction later on in a series without throwing your viewers for a loop, unless you are a master of foreshadowing.

The plot of this introductory episode has a strong tendency to be one of the coping-with-new-powers or power-manifestation scenarios like How Do I Shot Web?, Die or Fly, or Falling into the Cockpit. Compare / contrast Second Hour Superpower, 11th-Hour Superpower, In Medias Res. If the power is immediately stripped away afterward, this is A Taste of Power.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Usagi becomes Sailor Moon in the first episode of the 1990s anime after being given the power to do so by Luna, because The Call Knows Where You Live.
  • Guilty Crown: Shu finds the object that gives him his powers (the Void Genome) halfway through the episode, but he doesnt get implanted with it until the last two or three minutes of episode one. When it does happen, there's a massive Animation Bump and a Theme Music Power-Up to boot. Did we mention that the music was composed by the wildly popular J-pop band, Supercell?
  • Mazinger Z: In the first episode Kouji finds a Humongous Mecha in his grandfather's underground lab and is told it will be his power from that day on, and he can become a god or a devil with it.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The first few episodes quickly have Shinji in an EVA confronting an angel. He gets his ass kicked around a bit, and then he enters his berserker mode for the first time...
  • Zatch Bell!: They introduce the lightning shooting beforehand, but Kiyo only figures out how they work when they need it.
  • Blue Dragon (the anime, anyway): Shu's village gets attacked by an evil army, and then, just as the nastiness is about to start, his shadow appears.
  • Bleach does this with Ichigo gaining shinigami powers.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Simon finds a drill bit in the very first episode, then finds a not-so-humongous mecha to which the bit just happens to be the key. Oh, and he can pilot it.
  • Pokémon: Pikachu proved it was much more powerful than it appeared even before Team Rocket ever made their appearance when it defended Ash from the Spearow flock.
  • Code Geass has Lelouch meet the Mysterious Waif about three-quarters of the way through the first episode, then receive his Geass and use it within the last couple of minutes.
  • My-HiME has a variation: Mai's HiME powers manifest for the first time in the first episode when she involuntarily creates a shield of flame to protect herself and Mikoto, but she only receives her Element in the second episode and her Child in the third.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Similarly, while the main character first realizes her powers as a mage by activating Raising Heart's staff form and creating a full Barrier Jacket on the first episode, she only casts her first spell on the second episode, and unlocks her oft-used Shooting Mode on the third.
    • For that matter, most every single Magical Girl show in existance (except those with Cute Witches, since the heroines of those shows already had powers.)
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica, on the other hand, is one of the few exceptions to this rule. While a mahou shoujo does show up and clean house in the first episode, the main character doesn't gain her powers until the very last episode.
  • Baccano! reveals its Immortality premise within the first third of the introductory episode when, after Firo's fingers are severed, the bloody digits slowly pick themselves off the ground and reattach to his hand. The effect is both unnerving and extremely cool.
  • One Piece: Monkey D. Luffy ate his Devil Fruit in the first chapter.
    • Averted in the anime, where the first few episodes had Luffy already as a Rubber Man. He gets his powers in a fourth episode flashback instead.
  • Death Note: The title Death Note falls outside Light's school within the first five minutes/few pages of the series. Justice ensues.
  • The first chapter of Yu-Gi-Oh! features Yugi Muto solving the millennium puzzle, and thus being introduced to his Superpowered Evil Side.
    • The first episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V has main protagonist Yuya Sakaki inventing the new Pendulum Summoning method.
  • Kamichu! opens right off with Yurie saying that she woke up that morning as a god.
  • Naruto discovers that he is the vessel for the Kyuubi and learns the Shadow Clone ability in the first episode.
  • Just about any Digimon series so far has had the main characters get their partners in the first episode. Frontier is the exception, in that the humans became the Digimon after receiving their Digimon Spirits. Fusion has Taiki gain powers both in the beginning of the first story arc and the end of that same story arc (AKA episode 30). First he learns how to make Shoutmon DigiXros, then in the end he learns how to make Shoutmon Super-Digivolve, which is abused thoroughly in the next story arc, whenever the plot calls for it (that is, once in every battle against the Death Generals).
  • In Powerpuff Girls Z, every episode is made up of two parts. The very first episode's first part is a story about the PPGZ defeating Mojo Jojo. The second part goes back to the beginning and shows how the girls got their powers. The next 2 or 3 episodes show how they came to meet up and form the titular Powerpuff Girls Z.
  • In Endride, no sooner does Shun get sucked into Endora by a crystal then he discovers he can summon a Warp Relic, which not even everybody from that world can do.
  • In Tamagotchi! Yume Kira Dream episode 1, Yumemitchi and Kiraritchi receive the Yume Kira bags they use to transform and save the day throughout that portion of the series.
  • In Back Arrow, while Briheights were always present in the setting, the eponymous protagonist's use of one without Conviction and being able to defeat other Briheights without killing their users marks him as highly unique.
  • In Otherside Picnic, Sorawo and Toriko encounter an otherworldly monster in the first volume/episode, which leaves Sorawo's eye and Toriko's hand supernaturally altered, giving them their powers.
  • In the first episode of every incarnation of the Pretty Cure franchise, the main Cure of each season will transform for the first time.

    Asian Animation 
  • BoBoiBoy: The titular protagonist gains Elemental Powers in the first episode. His friends note  are also granted their own respective powers in the following episode.
  • Happens several times in Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf. For example, in the first episode of The Little Detective, Weslie gets his detective gear and learns how to use his new abilities to solve mysteries.

    Comic Books 
  • All superhero debut comics that don't follow a Badass Normal or somebody who is already supernatural, by definition, employ this trope. Probably the most iconic is Amazing Fantasy #15, the first appearance of Spider-Man.
  • In All Fall Down, this is Sophie. She's stolen every power on Earth, with no idea at first how to use them.
  • In the first issue of Invincible, Mark, having been promised he would one day inherit his father's powers, finally has them kick in when he's taking out the trash and accidentally flings a garbage bag into orbit.
    Mark: It's about time.

    Fan Works 
  • Atonement: In the first episode Madison feels so guilty about Taylor's death that she triggers and gains the power to connect any two non-living objects and then pull them together or push them apart.
  • Children of an Elder God: In the first chapter Shinji gets a giant robot and fights his first Robeast. When he kills Matarael, he feels something entering his body. That something was the power of the monster he had just slain.
  • Cinders and Ashes: the Chronicles of Kamen Rider Dante follows the tradition that Kamen Rider had, in which the first chapter has the main character taking the belt and becoming a Kamen Rider.
  • Gods, Angels, and Kings: In the first chapter Shinji bonds with an alien and becomes the super-hero Zone Fighter (Ultraman in the second version).
  • Intrepid: When one of their pranks ends with Taylor in a comatose state, Emma and Madison feel guilty enough to trigger and develop powers. In the first episode Emma freezes time, and Madison absorbs objects and knowledge.
  • Last Child of Krypton: In the redux, Shinji's Kryptonian powers start manifesting in the first episode.
  • Pokémon Master: In the first chapter Ash and his Pikachu master the Shadow element.
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: In the first episode Asuka gains Super Strength, accidentally ripping off her giant robot's control yokes.
  • In the first episode of Thousand Shinji, Shinji gets Psychic Powers, electrokinesis and a giant robot.


    Live-Action TV 
  • The 4400: Shawn and Maia (as well as the "freak of the week" played by Michael Moriarty) discover their new abilities in the first episode.
  • Birds of Prey (2002): Helena and Dinah both show off their metahuman powers in the first episode.
  • Charmed: The sisters all gain magic powers on the night the youngest, Phoebe, returns home and finds the Book of Shadows. Subverted when we learn in a later episode that they had them as children, but their grandmother bound them and they forgot as they grew up. The first season is mostly about the sisters learning to control these powers, especially for Piper.
  • Danger Force: While Miles, Chapa and Bose received their powers in the Grand Finale of Henry Danger, Mika recieves her power in the first episode of the spinoff.
  • The pilot episode of Grimm is when protagonist Nick Burkhardt first becomes aware of The Masquerade, because he starts seeing people turn into monsters that no one else notices. As his aunt is dying of cancer, his abilities start to show up.
  • H₂O: Just Add Water: In the series premiere, "Metamorphosis", the girls discover Mako Island and the Moon Pool where they receive their mermaid powers and they transform into mermaids for the first time.
  • Heroes: Several characters discover their abilities in the first episode, including Nathan, Hiro, and Niki. Matt, who wasn't in the first episode, discovered his abilities in the second.
  • Kamen Rider does this as a traditional standard for its Riders, as often they gain their powers within the first episode, to the point where it's easier to mention the ones that subvert the trope. note 
  • Subversion: Lost put solid proof of the island's unnatural properties into the first episode (Locke's standing up and walking), but didn't actually reveal there was anything odd about it until a later episode ("Walkabout", where we learn he was wheelchair-bound).
  • Misfits: Everyone but Nathan gets supernatural powers in the first 15 minutes. It's revealed in the season finale that Nathan's power is being immortal.
  • Out of This World (1987): In the first episode, Evie is introduced to her powers on her 13th birthday.
  • Power Rangers:
    • When the characters have super powers in their civilian forms, they always showcase them using their powers just to show that they have them. The trope name is particularly apt here, since the out-of-costume powers tend to be used heavily in the first few episodes and then pretty much vanish thereafter.
    • It probably doesn't help that in Super Sentai (what Power Rangers is based on; costumed fight sequences are frequently dubbed over), the main characters rarely have additional powers, leading to the civilian-superhero power divide.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch where she learns of her powers in the first episode.
  • The Secret World of Alex Mack: Alex gets hit with chemicals in the first episode, leading to the decision to keep her new powers secret.

    Western Animation 
  • This is very common in superhero shows aimed at kids and teenagers in general.
  • Danny Phantom: Although the intro details how Danny got his powers, the first episode is mainly about him trying to figure out out how to use his powers and keep them under control.
  • In LoliRock, Iris discovers her magical powers and that she's the lost princess of Ephedia in the first episode.
  • Littlest Pet Shop (2012) begins with Blythe using the dumbwaiter in her new apartment above the pet shop only to have an accident and hurt her head, which gives her the ability to talk to animals and understand them.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic plays with this trope. The first episode has Twilight meet her new friends and their individual powers manifest alongside the Elements of Harmony which they use to take down Nightmare Moon, setting up a Magical Girl format for the show. However, the majority of episodes are a Slice of Life show about ponies, and things like flight and magic are commonplace and have mainly mundane uses.
  • Regal Academy begins with Rose Cinderella learning she's the granddaughter of the titular school's headmistress Cinderella and receiving her Pumpkin Magic powers.
  • The Sofia the First Pilot Movie "Once Upon a Princess" has Sofia receive the Amulet of Avalor, unlock her first power to talk to animals, and summon her first Disney Princess guide, Cinderella.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Star Butterfly receives the Royal Magic Wand in the first episode.
  • Static Shock: The first episode shows Virgil and all of the various super-powered cast getting their powers.
  • Street Sharks: The four protagonists are turned into sharks in the pilot.
  • Tangled: The Series: Rapunzel's hair is regrown and became indestructible by the Black Rocks in the Pilot Movie, "Before Ever After".
  • In Trollz, Amethyst's powers manifest after her friends' already have, and the first episode has spells cast by a single Troll. In the second episode, they cast their first spell together, turning Coal into ice and opening the rift to unleash the Big Bad.
  • Wakfu: Yugo first activates his portal-creation powers in the first episode, which comes in handy since not long after he gets into a fight with the Rubilax-possessed Sadlygrove. However, he doesn't realize the true scope of his abilities until after the halfway point of the first season where he receives proper training and guidance, and he still has much more to learn even then.
  • In Winx Club, Bloom accidentally discovers and uses her magic powers in the first episode.
  • In the W.I.T.C.H. animated series, the Guardians receive their powers in the very first episode... save for Will, who, in a serious inversion, has to wait until episode 30 to receive hers.


Video Example(s):


Blythe talks to animals

After an accident with the dumbwaiter and hitting her head, Blythe somehow gains the ability to talk to animals and understand them.

How well does it match the trope?

4.11 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / SpeaksFluentAnimal

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